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GSE Dean Fuhrman Steps Down

Dr. Susan H. Fuhrman was approved on May 10 as the new president of Teachers College, Columbia University,  where she will take office on August 1. She will be the tenth person to hold the position and TC’s first female president.

In her 11 years as dean and George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education at GSE, Dr. Fuhrman has had a “profound influence on the direction and shape of the School.” Almost half of GSE’s standing tenure-track faculty was hired during her tenure, the range of alternative degree and certification programs has grown considerably under her leadership, and she has been a driving force in the School’s increased engagement in local urban schools and in international education. She has traveled broadly in her deanship and has encouraged GSE to become even more globally engaged.

Dr. Fuhrman has led GSE in its efforts to engage with West Philadelphia schools, including the creation of the Penn Alexander School  in partnership with the School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, a groundbreaking collaboration of a kind that had never existed before, the collaboration with the Penn Partnership Schools to assist three nearby low performing elementary schools, and the current planning for an international studies high school.

Her expertise in education policy has also played a substantial role in her guidance of the School, most notably through her leadership of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). In her time at Penn, CPRE has expanded its considerable research portfolio, which examines the effects of educational policies nationwide, as well as the connections between policy and classroom instruction. CPRE recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Dr. Fuhrman’s dedication to rigorous research and practical reform is reflected in the quadrupling of externally funded research at GSE during her tenure and the rise in the reputation and visibility of the School. She will now have the opportunity to draw on her experience at Penn as she moves on to lead her graduate alma mater.

“While this is a great loss for Penn, it is an extraordinary opportunity for Susan who will take the helm of an institution that has contributed a vast amount to the field of education. In some ways this is a return home for Susan, who earned her Ph.D. at Columbia, and we know you will be excited for her even as you join us in lamenting her departure,” announced President Amy Gutmann and Provost Ronald Daniels.

The President and Provost also noted that Dr. Fuhrman “leaves GSE more vital and relevant than ever before,” thanks to a “vigorous pragmatism” and “remarkable ethos of engagement” that has “translated theory into practice in ways rarely seen in education schools.”

Dean Fuhrman will here through the end of July. The appointment of an Interim Dean will be made in the near future.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 34, May 23, 2006


May 23, 2006
Volume 52 Number 34


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